Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday exhorted state director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini to stand by his force and not let them face humiliation at the hands of the 'Bikram Sena', referring to unruly elements inducted into the Youth Akali Dal (YAD).
Addressing a press conference here, Amarinder said it was high time the DGP acted tough against the goon elements let loose by revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia in the state.
Amarinder said the Punjab Police, who fought so valiantly during the days of terrorism and lost 17,00 personnel, had been completely demoralised today after a series of instances in which police officers on duty were roughed up by the 'Bikram brigade'.
"I have received several calls from young Punjab police officers that they are completely fed up with ongoing events in the state. They told me that they are confused how to carry on performing their routine duty," the former CM said.
Majithia has his men posted everywhere in all police stations to terrify cops who want to perform their duty as per the law of the land, the Captain said.
Referring to the assault on assistant inspector general (AIG) SS Mand in Ludhiana by Majithia's "close aide", Amarinder pointed out that the government, particularly deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, was still saying that he (Mand) had not been beaten up but had suffered a fracture as he had slipped. "If he had really slipped, why have they arrested three people?" he asked.
He stated that in the case of assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Ravinderpal Singh's murder, then SHO Ashwani Kumar was in uniform when the former was shot at. Still, the SHO refused to act against the accused. Amarinder added that it was also a known fact that main accused Ranjit Singh Rana, after shooting the ASI, had shouted 'Bikram Majithia Zindabad'.
The former CM said Sulakhan Mattewal, who was engaged in a shootout with the police in Amritsar district on Tuesday, was the son of a dreaded terrorist and another close aide of Majithia. The police have made no effort to arrest Sulakhan and rather he was made to escape from the spot, Amarinder said.
Asked whether DGP Saini was not acting against criminals, especially those having close links with the Akalis, since he himself was facing trial in a criminal case, Amarinder said it might be the case. "It is Saini who should decide about his priority, whether he would want to have a secure future or uphold the morale of his force," the ex-CM said.
Amarinder also asked Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal to shun politics and take drastic corrective measures to set right the law and order situation in Punjab. "Badal should immediately dismiss Majithia from his cabinet for the sake of making Punjab peaceful. Otherwise, the state is already heading for dark days," he claimed.
On whether the union government had taken note of the recent spurt of incidents in Punjab where police and civil officials had been beaten up by YAD workers, Amarinder said law and order was a state subject but the Centre was keeping a close watch.
"The union government would never want the situation to go out of hand due to the poor law and order, especially in border areas. The Punjab governor, intelligence bureau (IB) officials and the ministry of home affairs are all keeping a close watch on the deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab. They may not directly intervene, but can always send an advisory to the state government," said Amarinder.